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De Blasi (A Thousand Days in Tuscany) has written yet another engaging book about Italy. This time she retells a love story told to her by the mistress of a large villa in the Sicilian mountains. Unlike in her other books, de Blasi herself is only a minor character in this enthralling story of love between a prince and his ward, who meet just prior to World War II. De Blasi writes both of their desire for each other, and their desire to improve life for those around them. With much less focus on food than her previous works, this story focuses on the characters' lives, loves, and motivations, all with a Sicilian backdrop. This is not a traditional travel narrative, but a love story that embraces the culture and character of Sicily. Recommended for public libraries.
Sicily is of course not only a place of romance, but home to its own particular cuisine, distinct from cuisines of the Italian mainland. To help travelers navigate this culinary landscape, Peterson has added one more culture to her extremely useful "Eat Smart" series, this time coauthored with native Sicilian Croce. They provide a culinary history of the island, describing local foods, dishes, recipes, and food markets. The lengthy glossary and menu guide give readers significantly more information than does a general traveler's dictionary. Anyone who loves travel as much for food as for all its other pleasures will find this an invaluable guide to a realm where food is such an important part of the life and culture of the people. Highly recommended for public libraries.